January 17, 2022

Bare Shelves - Again

Steven Schueler

The cause is not the 'pandemic' but the government's responses to it.

Store shelves are left bare in eerie reminder of the early days of the pandemic as out-of-stock levels increase to 12% due to Omicron surge and supply-chain issues

Tim adds:

And with the huge increase in the monetary supply we've seen the cost of every level of the supply chain go up. No wonder.

I would point out that the primary problem is in food shortages. How is that, when America grows so much of her own food?

Well, we do crazy stuff like ship meat to China for processing then ship it back here. It's nuts.

But what I see is farming is becoming more expensive, to the point that a lot of land was probably left fallow during the pandemic. Farmers couldn't afford to buy the equipment they needed, and they couldn't get the prices they needed.

One wonders how much worse it will get.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 11:32 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 165 words, total size 1 kb.

1 More and more, I am noticing that once a store is out of stock on an item, more often than not it never regains a supply of that item. The result is a steadily diminishing supply of goods on the shelves, diminishing at an accelerating pace.

I have not been able to confirm, but I suspect that computerized ordering has much to do with this.

Computer ordering bases its order on what the store is selling. When the item first runs out there is still a robust history of sales, so the computer will reorder. The next time it places an order, however, there have been no recent sales (the store was out of stock), so it does not reorder that item.

So even if the item came in after the initial outage, it was not reordered afterward because of the period of non-sales. Then there are some sales which may trigger an order, but the computer shows diminished volume on the item, due to the period when it was out of stock.

That order, then, may be for reduced quantity, which causes the item to be out of stock even sooner, and reduces the sales history even further. That causes the computer to cut the next reorder quantity even further.

You can see the diminishing numbers that the computer is looking at, right? Diminishing numbers that eventually tell the computer that it is no longer worth reordering the item at all.

Shortage? Bad store management? Or both?

Posted by: Bill H at January 18, 2022 10:32 AM (/sW5m)

2 Well that's a good point Bill. I used to work in both a grocery store and for a bread company and that was just coming in. I remember the problems.

Nothing beats human judgment.

But that still used to be overrideable. If the computer was failing you could put in a manual order Perhaps not anymore.

I do know a lot of things I would buy occasionally are gone and have been.

For example, Cheetoh's haven't been available at my local store for a year now. Weird types - like jalepeno - are still there but the regular old Cheetoh's are not.

Something else I've noticed is the  product size has all gone down. You can't get a bag of chips that will last for any length of time now. But that is a different matter than outages.

I find that suspicious insofar as the intelligentsia has wanted Americans to eat less of that sort of thing for a long time now and surprise! Now we are forced to.

At any rate, your computer ordering suspicions may well be right Bill. Good tinking!

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at January 19, 2022 09:00 AM (cMAT5)

3 I suspect you are right, Bill. I've noticed this because my wife and I moved to a smaller town a year ago and started patronizing their branch of our favorite local supermarket. But we've gotten so hacked at not being able to find certain items that I've gone back to the old one, even though it's about a ten-mile drive. Interestingly, there's one item we often buy that is in the "new" store but not the old one.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at January 19, 2022 11:31 PM (TisyG)

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